One of the only Australians who attended the Queen’s funeral makes a heartbreaking confession about the service – and how it brought back a painful memory
- Danny Abdallah was one of ten Australian civilians to attend the Queen’s funeral
- Mr Abdallah lost three of his children and his niece in a Sydney car crash in 2020
- He said the Queen’s funeral service reminded him of his own children’s funeral
- He said it was ‘an honour to be a part of history’ and called the funeral ‘beautiful’
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Danny Abdallah said attending Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral reminded him of his own children’s deaths after they were hit by a drunk driver in a horror car crash.
On February 1, 2020, seven children from the Abdallah family were mowed down by a drunk driver on a Sydney footpath while on their way to buy ice creams.
Mr Abdallah and his wife Leila Abdallah lost three of their children – Sienna Abdallah, eight, and her siblings Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13 – as well as their 11-year-old niece Veronique Sakr in the collision but famously immediately forgave the driver.
Danny Abdallah (pictured with wife Leila and their children) was invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday
The father and co-founder of the i4give Day charity was one of 10 Australian civilians invited to attend the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
‘It was a beautiful experience and an honour to be a part of history,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘I felt for the family and the grief and pain they will be experiencing.
‘I felt a little sad as it took me back to my kids’ funeral, but I truly believe there is life after life.’
Mr Abdallah was one of ten Australian civilians invited to the Queen’s funeral (above) on Monday
Mr Abdallah said the Queen’s funeral reminded him of his own children’s funeral after they were run over and killed by a drunk driver in Sydney two years ago (pictured, Mr and Mrs Abdallah at their children’s funeral)
Also on the guest list was Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon, Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Linda, acting High Commissioner Lynette Wood and her partner, and RSL President Greg Melick.
Australians of the Year Dylan Alcott, Valmai Dempsey, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, Helen Milroy and Trudy Lin also received a coveted invitation.
The guest list represented to Queen’s love for horses with Australian horse trainers David Hayes and Gai Waterhouse attending her funeral alongside racing identity Robbie Waterhouse.
A total of 22 Australians were invited to the Queen’s funeral on Monday (pictured the royal family)
Local heroes Shanna Whan, Saba Abraham, Kim Smith also made the trip for Her Majesty’s funeral along with Victoria Cross recipients Mark Donaldson, Daniel Keighran, Keith Payne and Ben Roberts-Smith.
Sober in the Country founder Shanna Whan said it was ‘overwhelming’ attending the funeral but was proud to represent the Australian ‘rural space’.
‘From the moment I could hear the bagpipes to Her Majesty’s casket being walked past us, to the hymns – I had tears streaming down my face,’ she said.
Sober in the Country founder Shanna Whan (above) was invited tot he funeral nd wore an Akubra-style hat as a mod to the Australian ‘rural space’
Ms Whan earlier revealed her Akubra-style hat was made last-minute by Sydney custom designer Neil Grigg.
‘I’m honestly so thankful I could weep, and I did. The community support emerging this week from Australia is indescribable,’ she wrote after receiving the special hat.
‘This bush gal of basic means and basic wants is a little overwhelmed. What I now know, without a shadow of a doubt, is that between these hats and the designs of Carla Zampatti I can represent us with style and grace.’
Saba Abraham, who has helped employ more than 200 refugee and migrant women through her Brisbane restaurant, said she felt ‘honoured’ to be invited to the royal funeral.